Well we have had a terrible time with such dry paddocks and dust every where.
One of my dams dried out and this gave me the opportunity to get it cleaned out and a wall repacked, so there is a silver lining in every cloud. The other 4 dams have just managed to hang in there. THEN a week ago the heavens opened up and we had 240 mls of rain over the span of 4 days. So…. the drought is officially over, but now we have to clean up the driveway, which got totally washed out with so much water rushing down it. All of the 8 dams are now over flowing…Yeh!!!!! We can just about feel the grass growing and the paddocks have all greened up.
Caleb loves talking to the new foals and I managed to get some cool photos.
He has a quiet natural way with the foals.
Last week I was unable to do my turn at feeding out to the cattle and horses and so I was able to take some photos of Erin as she was filling in for me. The cows have all calved now, the last one just the other day, and the calves are all looking so cool.
All of the mares have foaled now and they all foaled successfully in the paddock, keeping to the top half of the paddock in a sheltered spot and keeping well away from the road and the logging trucks, which barrel through from very early in the morning.
All of the foals are sired by Strider and I feel a great pleasure in seeing what has arrived.
Delta’s filly was a couple of weeks early and she is smaller and finer boned than the other two. I just love the feathering that she has got down her rump, I am pretty sure that given time, her pattern will change and she will develop spots. Photos are in the Foals page
SPRING is on it’s way….Yehhhhh. The daffodils on the drive are looking so bright and cheerful, so lovely to see them after the dull winter weather. I picked a bunch and arranged them on the table. See some photos below.
On the drive to and from town, we go past the DOC farm and there are 3 paddocks of ewes that are lambing. It is so cool to watch the lambs frolicking around or feeding off there mums.
The grandchildren have decided not to have calf club calves this year and instead have chosen to have chickens. This is a new adventure for us. We got them when they were only 2 days old and of course all of the cats are fascinated by them. At this point they are in a large container with a heat lamp, as the photos will show.
The infoal mares are getting larger and larger. Only around 4 more weeks to go until foaling time. On getting home tonight from work the 2 yearling fillys were prancing and galloping around and around, heads up and there tails up, what a cool sight. I feel so lucky to be able to see all these wonderful things around me.
Saturday evening, 2 July, felt rather chilly, so I checked the temperature on the deck, at 10pm, and it read 1 degree. Oh oh….. could be, in for a good frost the next morning.
And I was right, the temperature on the deck read -3 degrees at 8am. Everywhere was pearly white. We don’t get too many frosts, like this, here in the north. This was our 5th frost, for this winter and the first one as heavy as this.
I felt enthused, to take some photos, well, quite a few actually, over the space of an hour or so. The scenery felt so cool and different and was changing as the time crept on, and the sun started coming up. I hope you enjoy looking at them.
The 2 two fillies have been weaned for 3 weeks now and I have been continuing with there handling on a gradual basis. They now tie up and are getting just great, at having there feet picked up.
The last thing to do today, was to start training them, to load onto the float. I started with Spice, the chestnut leopard. I led her up to the door of the float and she showed no signs of being hesitant, in fact, Spice sniffed the door and practically walked up on her own, with just a little asking from me. I felt so amazed, she is such a treasure.
Next, it was Peppers turn, the black leopard filly. Now Pepper is a bit more anxious, with new things. I have my 14yr old mare, Missy, in with these weaners as there Aunty.
I asked Missy to stand by the float ramp and asked Pepper to stand by her, then I moved Missy and that left Pepper with me. She started sniffing the ramp and I knew that she would make the best effort that she could, which is all that I could ask. And then low and behold with a bit of pressure from me, she just walked right on up and in. I felt so totally amazed. This was a real buzz for me. This is the kind of temperament that I feel so proud of, in my wonderful appaloosas. I have to say, these 2 fillies have been the easiest, that I have handled. The bloodlines that I have chosen are now creating some very trainable appaloosas.
Pepper is an another wonderful example of a loudly coloured B grade appaloosa.
She is very smart and quick on the uptake and has been the easiest foal to teach to lead.
Both foals have now been weaned.
On ringing the vets last week, to book in my branding visit, I learned that Dave Cairns had just retired. Dave has been coming to my property to brand horses every autumn for the last 12 years, since 2004, except for last year, as I chose to take a year off from having foals due to feeling a bit stressed.
My first session of branding with Dave Cairns was a bit of a laugh. First off, I had a brand made up for my DayDream stud. It is a double D. I told Dave I had my own stud brand and would he be OK with using it? Should be OK, he said. He took one look at it and said where on earth did I get this made up? I just laughed at him.
Well the first weanling that we did, I wanted gelded as well. While the weanling was still asleep, on the ground, Dave said we should brand him. Dave was just about to put the hot double D brand on this weanlings shoulder, when I cautioned that the brand was upside down. No says Dave, it’s up the right way. Ummm, I don’t think so. Yes it is, says Dave. OK I said, lets do it then. Bammm the brand was burnt in. After taking it off, I looked and guess what, it was upside down. The look on Dave’s face was just priceless. That’s OK Dave, I said, we can just lean over the horses wither and look down to see it the right way up. Haha. I should have had a bet on it.
Every year we would catch up on what was happening, at that time.
One of my funny stories, which Dave laughed so hard about, was when I told him, how my ex partner turned the water pump on, before he left for work. He wanted to top the heading tank up, up the hill. However he went to work and forgot to turn it off. On coming home it was discovered that the pump had turned itself off, after pumping all of the water up to the heading tank and this then overflowed onto the ground. We had lost around 10000 litres of water. A bit of a disaster, but after that a safety measure was put in and the overflow was diverted to a second tank. When Dave left that day, he was still shaking his head, after I had told him this story………….
Over the years he has helped me with numerous horse problems, getting teeth done, scanning mares, helping with a colicky horse, taking bloods, helping with cut legs and showing me how to wrap them to avoid proud flesh and of course branding and gelding.
I feel really grateful to Dave, for being very helpful and for taking the time to talk over the phone to me, about any issues…. Now, we have Sarah, whom was just lovely today and the brandings went off, with out a single hitch. Sarah also handled, gelding my colt, like a pro.
So, we are now, on to a new path with a new vet to take care of my horse issues.
Thank you Dave Cairns.
Phoebe is so ecstatic about how well Takoda is coming along. He is now just over 3yrs old and is around 16hh. He has developed well and loves riding on the beach and in the sand dunes. Phoebe has found him a joy to ride and just loves spending time with him. I feel so pleased that my breeding programme is producing calm minded and sane appaloosas that are a pleasure to work with.
Both Phoebe and Takoda have now shifted to Palmerston North, where unfortunately there won’t quite be the same rides on the beach.